I’m sorry this is coming out a little late today. We had two funerals here at the church yesterday, and I just ran out of time to write this post, but I want to tell you about these services.
Yesterday was supposed to be a holiday, but I was very busy all day with the two funeral services we hosted. In the afternoon we had a funeral for Lodell Thornton who passed away at 100 years old. Later yesterday evening we held a memorial service for Jon Wirtz who passed away at 36 years old. These two services were vastly different, and yet they had some striking similarities, which all in all made writing the sermons for both of them quite a challenge.
Both services celebrated wonderful people who lived their lives to the fullest. Both services were beautiful and very peaceful. Both services were filled with friends and family who were searching for answers and meaning. One thing that I’ve learned in my life is that it doesn’t matter how old a person is when they die, or how they die, those who are closest to the departed always search for meaning. People want there to be significance in death. We want to know why it happens.
Another thing I’ve learned is that there is hardly ever a supernatural meaning to our deaths. Most of the time they have very ordinary causes like heart attack, old age, cancer, car accident, etc. I think that we often want to find a moral reason for death. We blame God for the loss of a loved one, saying things like, why would God take this person away from me?
I don’t believe that God kills our loved ones. I believe that we live our lives in very fragile bodies that are not meant to last forever. This doesn’t bring any comfort to someone who has lost a loved one, but it helps me to better understand the nature of God. I don’t believe in a God who brings death and destruction, I believe in a God who brings life and hope, even in the midst of death and destruction.
Life is filled with pain, and yet God is our source of hope and peace in the midst of heartache. This Sunday we are continuing in our sermon series called, “Who Am I?” This week we will be focusing on the question, who is God? At the 9am service we will be considering what we believe about God, where we got those beliefs and what the nature and character of God means for each of us. I hope you will join us as we engage with these challenging questions together, and if you were at either of the services yesterday, I hope you have found the peace and grace of God as a comfort in this time of loss.
Have a wonderful week my friends,